I am an avid reader…..of short blurbs. That’s right. It is a nasty confession but definitely one that needs to be voiced.
When I was almost 4 years old I read my first sentence by myself. I learned through phonics so my reading foundation was strong. As I grew so did my reading habit. At one point I was devouring 3-4 books a week easy. I can remember being almost 12 years old and looking forward to summer just so I could read uninterrupted. I was a regular at the old Pretlow Library in my hometown of Norfolk, VA. I read fiction, non-fiction, baseball books, history books, the entire Hardy Boys series, a book on….well, an inappropriate book for young eyes…..and more! In fact, when I turned 16 years old I celebrated that summer by reading through The Federalist Papers. As college took hold of me I turned to my books less and less. I became more interested in the social aspect of university until I found myself complaining about even my required reading. And if that weren’t enough, it was those years I discovered Cliff’s Notes. Now at almost 40 years old I find myself struggling to finish a newspaper article, let alone a book. It isn’t that I don’t want to though. In fact, I want to read. I want to recite Wordsworth to my wife and wax poetic about political dignitaries and their influence on American history. I would love to flip into the tongue of Nicholas Sparks and then tuck my daughter to sleep each night on the tales of little women. I can’t though. It just doesn’t happen that way. That will change though and it is going to change this summer. In fact, I have compiled a list of the Top 5 Books I Think Should Inspire Me. I am going to navigate the pages of that list this summer and find the inspiration I seek so desperately.
Modern Homesteading: Rediscovering the American Dream by A Wranglerstar Production (buy here). I want to read this book because I have been a Wranglerstar YouTube subscriber for years. I have always loved his no-nonsense approach to almost everything he (and his family) does. My understanding is that this book shares the practical and inspiring aspects of the modern homesteading movement. I don’t need another book on the technique of homesteading as approached by academics. I want to read one that really comes from a homesteaders mouth.
Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance (buy here). I didn’t grow up wealthy. I grew up in a working class family. Life would ultimately find me serving on the domestic mission field and learning more about the Appalachian region. I became so aware of the poverty, illiteracy, and lack of healthcare, that plagues our own nation. Part sociology study and part personal history, Hillbilly Elegy is something I want to read to discover a bit more about how one man has dealt with upward mobility without forgetting where he came from.
John Adams by David McCullough (buy here). I am a fierce patriot. I love the United States and I know enough about our nation’s 2nd president to know I need to know more. McCullough is considered the foremost authority on the subject and I look most forward to this read.
By now you are wondering why I am compiling this list when it seemingly has so little to do with tiny houses.
When my wife and I started out on the Tiny r(E)volution journey one of the things I was quote frequently as saying is that through living tiny I looked forward to reclaiming my time; enjoying the simpler things in life. To me that meant reading, playing the piano, and laying out in the hammock. Suffice to say I haven’t done any of those things very much at all in the last 7 years. But that is about to change. I am going to rediscover why I went tiny and it will start with these two final books!
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy by John le Carré (buy here). Why this one? This novel, I’ve been told, defined the Cold War era after World War II. Who doesn’t like well-written espionage and political deception?
The Secret Garden byFrances Hodgson Burnett. You know what holds more charm than a tiny house on wheels or a gypsy wagon? A secret garden!
What books might you be reading this summer?